The Victorian church of St Peter in Wallsend, Tyneside, is to hold an open day – so visitors can admire an antique chest which was featured on Antiques Roadshow last year.
The Parish church of St Peter’s dates from 1809 and was originally a Jarrow chapelry, or “preaching box,” built to replace the 12th Century Church of the Holy Cross. This church, which was altered in the 17th Century, was abandoned in 1798 and is today a picturesque ruin. However, many of its artefacts were transferred to the new building, which was remodelled by the Victorian Gothic architect W.S. Hicks in the 1890s.
St Peter’s has a number of interesting features, notably the Angel Nave ceiling, 17th Century parish records and repaired village stocks. It also has the largest collection of Irish stained glass in the country. However, the church’s crowning glory is its 16th Century antique chest, which Ribble Valley residents may recognise from the Antiques Roadshow event at Seaton Delavel Hall. Recorded in July 2011, it was recently repeated on BBC1.
Discovered during restoration work, the chest was at first discarded as an old wooden box and almost consigned to the tip. Luckily, one eagle-eyed parishioner thought it might have an interesting story to tell and took it to Seaton Delavel. The Roadshow expert quickly identified it as a 16th Century Nonsuch Chest, which may even have been made for King Henry VIII’s magnificent palace in Cheam. It can be seen at the church open day on Saturday 28th July.
Antique dealers in Lancashire have antique chests in many different styles, some of them inspired by Nonsuch Palace, which was demolished in 1682.
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